James scores 37 to lead Heat past Phoenix 103-97

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2014 at 11:46 pm •  Published: February 11, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) — LeBron James almost never has two bad games in a row.

So after matching his season low with 13 points in Miami's' loss at Utah last Saturday, the four-time MVP was back being LeBron again in Phoenix.

James scored 37 points and, as usual, was the critical component of the big plays down the stretch in the Heat's 103-97 victory over the Suns on Tuesday night.

He also had five steals, and his prettiest play might have a laser pass to Chris Bosh for a 3-pointer that pretty much sealed the victory with 40.3 seconds to go.

It was James' highest-scoring game since Dec. 28 and just two points off his season high.

"It was good to see us respond," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "And this response started yesterday in practice. There wasn't any dancing around it, we were flat and we didn't bring a game necessary to win on the road against Utah."

They brought that energy, and a healthy respect, to the Suns, though.

"That (Phoenix) is a really good team," James said. "They are the surprise team of our league this year."

Bosh added 21 points and Mario Chalmers 13 for the Heat, who were without Dwyane Wade because of a migraine.

Gerald Green scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half for Phoenix. Goran Dragic and Channing Frye had 15 apiece.

The Suns lost to Miami for the eighth time in a row.

"They make plays at the end of games," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek saiad. "They have done it for the last two years, two and a half years, now."

The Heat converted 16 Suns turnovers into 24 points.

Of his five steals, James said it was something he's been doing for years.

"Just being able to anticipate plays, seeing the pass before it happens or shoot the gap like that," James said. "I have been doing it throughout my career."

Dragic, the Suns' catalyst, was frustrated by a defense that sent various players at him, forcing him to get rid of the ball earlier than he wanted and keeping him from his trademark penetration. He wound up 4 of 12 shooting.

Miami used an 11-0 run, capped by a roundhouse breakaway dunk by James, to go up 62-55 with 6:40 left in the third quarter. But Green scored all of Phoenix's points in an 8-1 spurt, including two 3s, and it was tied at 63-63 with 4:42 left in the period.